Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pond or Puddle

My parents are planning to move back to their original hometown in central Missouri for retirement.  With that goal in mind they recently acquired some land and are planning to build a house.  Pretty much all the land in the area is farmland or is surrounded by farmland.  This land is no different.  It's a little more rolling and wooded than some of the other land but it's generally similar.

When I was little, pretty much all our holidays (and a number of additional weekends) were spent down here with the extended family.  And every trip in which I could manage, there was some fishing involved.  When I was very little, the target was panfish and the medium was bobbers and worms.  As I aged I discovered that the more active pursuit of bass fishing was more enjoyable. Beyond that, there are also catfish and snapping turtles and certainly other creatures of the deep to chase.

With all this in mind, can you guess what my first question was when my dad told me they had picked out a plot of land?  Of course, it was "does it have any ponds?"  The answer was "yes, two."  My retort:  "Woohoo!"  The existence of small farm ponds everywhere in the area is very nearly a given.  These things are little tear drops of the gods and are sprinkled everywhere.  Then I visited in person and saw the ponds and felt slightly disappointed.  They are quite small.  Not so small as to not hold fish, but small enough that at best they hold a bunch of palm sized (max) panfish and couple 8-14" mini bass.

What was worse was that the best place to put the house was too close to the smaller of the two ponds, so it had to go. But perhaps that was a blessing in disguise.  This small pond was probably at most 30 feet across; a glorified mud puddle.  My dad was doubtful there were any fish in there, I figured a few small panfish.  We were both wrong.  I don't know all the details, but a few pictures arrived in my email inbox this week.  That pond had been drained and the fish were collected.  Here are the two pics I received.  I hope my cousin doesn't mind making his debut on my blog.

A pretty small bass, but a bass.  Very positive.  But even more positive was the ridiculous sized carp for a pond this small.

No I'm looking forward fishing the slightly larger pond that's still there.  Who knows what lies within!

I'm also looking forward to convincing my parents to either make that pond bigger or to put in another bigger one with all kinds of great bass and carp habitat.

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